Philadelphia man accused of stealing nearly $1 million in federal payroll protection program loans
A Philadelphia man who was arrested on Tuesday and charged with stealing nearly $1 million in salary protection program funds provided by the federal government to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic may spend the rest of his life in prison.
50-year-old Devron Brown was charged with two counts of bank fraud and nine counts of money laundering as part of the alleged acquisition and abuse of a PPP loan program. U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The indictment alleges that Brown fraudulently obtained approximately $937,500 in PPP funds after submitting an application in June last year, in which the information about his so-called construction business Just Us Construction Inc. was incorrect.
Prosecutors said Brown made several false statements about the number of employees in his company, the wages and payroll taxes he paid, and how he intended to use the loan.
The indictment stated that he allegedly used the funds for a new home, a motorcycle, two cars and diamond jewelry in Florida.
Allegedly, Brown submitted a second fraudulent PPP loan application earlier this year, but was rejected by the Small Business Administration.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams (Jennifer Arbittier Williams) said: “The Salary Protection Program funds are designed to help small businesses in the United States continue to pay their employees, even if their income drops significantly due to the pandemic.” The thieves who took the funds were taking advantage of the misfortune of others-while plundering them, they also plundered all the taxpayers who funded the plan.”
Thief trying to take away #PPP The funds are taking advantage of the misfortunes of others-plundering them, but also plundering the taxpayers who fund the plan. It is alleged that Brown fraudulently obtained nearly $1 million, which could have helped companies and individuals in trouble. 2/2
-US Attorney Williams (@USAttyWilliams) June 15, 2021
The Salary Protection Program was established by the SBA last year to help companies maintain their livelihoods and continue to pay their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
FBI agent Michael J. Driscoll said: “The Salary Protection Program is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to companies and employees hit by the pandemic.” “Unfortunately, criminal opportunists with dollar signs in their eyes. Work soon began to try to deceive the federal government by cutting funds. The FBI will continue to actively pursue those who use PPP funds to fund their luxurious lifestyle. Taxpayer expenses.”
If all charges are convicted, Brown may face up to 150 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of US$4.25 million, compensation and a special assessment of US$1,100.